I don’t make friends easily

Post title yanked from the title of a monologue by Dr. Erica Hahn in a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy that was on my TiVo. Sweet TiVo. My constant (and it feels like only) companion at the moment.

It’s true though. I really feel like I don’t make friends particularly easily, which really sucks when you feel like you need some.

Oh I do have some really special people in my life who fall under both friends and family who would be there in an instant if ever I really needed them.

And we certainly get invites to “important” parties held by friends and acquaintances (by “important” I mean holidays, birthdays, things of that ilk) and dinner parties, BBQ’s, etc.

The people I’m missing (and it’s really been a near-constant sore-point in my personal life) are the friendly acquaintances that you can hang out with, without having a reason. Other than say, it’s Wednesday, let’s sit down and have a glass of wine (tea, go for a walk, chat, whatever).

I mean, I guess I have a reason for wanting that right this moment: Neil’s out of town, I’ve run out of TiVo’d shows to watch and no matter how much I talk to her, the dog doesn’t talk back. Which makes it seem like I’m looking for last-resort companions, but believe me, if I could think of someone to call, the TiVo would’ve stayed full. And even when Neil is around, there are people we’d rather hang out with than eachother sometimes (both separately and as a couple).

I’m basically at a point where I’m bugged enough about the situation to stop deluding myself into thinking that it’s not a problem for me.

Not that I’m asking for a pity-party or play-dates (okay, maybe I am, just a little), but seriously, how do you transition past the point of being friendly with people when you happen to see them, to being friends with someone and comfortable enough to actually pick up the phone or email and say “hey, let’s go ride bikes get together this week” without seeming weird?

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12 thoughts on “I don’t make friends easily

  1. Riann

    I have wondered the same thing. If you met someone through a friend, at what point can you hang out without the original friend? If you’ve only ever hung out as couples, would it be weird to hang out without the guys? It seems odd and very high school, but I understand where you’re coming from.

  2. Kim2

    I had typed up a long answer but it got erased when I tried to post. The cliff notes version: you just do it. You risk seeming weird…I was totally afraid you and Neil would think it odd that I wanted to meet for dinner a few months back when I was in town, but I really wanted to meet you and see him again. I was nervous at first but I had a great time that night. Obviously we aren’t best friends or anything now but I like to think we’d hang out if we lived closer 🙂

  3. Andrea

    I have the same problem. But the only way I sort of figured out to do this is to keep reaching out. To start a friendship is the first big step, and the rest is maintaining it. I realize that I am a “twice a month” type of friend, I wouldn’t seek people who ask for a commitment greater than that.
    It’s hard, but hey, let’s hang out 🙂

  4. Karin

    I have no idea! I’d like to go bike riding, since I just got my new bike. 🙂

    I’m really not sure…I suffer from the same thing, but didn’t know how to put it.

  5. erin

    I agree that you just do it. I’ve done it once recently and become much better friends with a couple who before that, I only ever hung out with at parties. It’s hard though, because you have to make yourself vulnerable to the idea that they may not want to be better friends with you, and never follow up on your initial move.

  6. April

    I have the same problem as well..it doesn’t help that I just moved clear across the country but even when I lived in New Brunswick, a place I’d lived all my life, I didn’t have any acquaintances I could hang out with. I agree with everyone else, you just gotta keep putting yourself out there. Its a risk and you might get rejected but its a risk you should take. I’m just starting to put myself out here in Edmonton and I’ve already made friends with the neighbours so its working I guess. Hope you have some luck.

  7. Tanya (aka NetChick)

    Aha! I have the answer, at least, it’s working for me! I said to myself, I need more female friends to hang with… Have spur of the moment adventures with, and generally call up and harrass on occasion.

    So, I’ve put together a small group of girls (err, ladies? Nah, we’re not that really, um… Chicks? [whatever]) that are now getting together one day a month or so to meet new like-minded women friends. The first one was a blast — I met one of Gillian’s friends, and she’s since been over for another Rock Band party. I met one of Monica’s friends this way too, and Laura is awesome!

    So, if you want an invite to the next one coming up in a few weeks, I think we’re going to be booking out my theatre room at my place, having a few martinis, and watching a chick flick. I’m also putting together a spa day for some of us girls, too.

    I think it’s going to be a great foundation to meet new like-minded female folk — Let me know!

  8. Sue

    I’m so there with you. Doesn’t help that I’ve up and moved to the island… you know I was totally there to ride bikes with you. Ahem, well maybe before I started sleeping awfully funny hours and having a little parasite to look after.

    I’m trying to make some new friends here in Vic, but it’s difficult because I don’t often plan in advance and then it just looks like I’m desperate because I’m calling with a last-minute invite. Sometimes I feel like I’m frantically reaching out for someone to hang out with, usually when Artos is working late. I know I have friends here from way back but they all have busy lives. I miss the days we all had papers to write together, or when you finished an exam and you’d all hit the pub together. Maybe that’s why people socialize with people from their office, because you’re already together at the end of the day, and usually done around the same time?

    One thing I want to do more is just pick up the phone to talk to people. I used to talk to my girlfriends for HOURS as a teenager, but it seems like I’ve lost the knack for it. Blame email and blogs, I suppose. In an age when long-distance bills are lower than ever, I never seem to phone anyone. Even locally. It’s sad.

    I really have to throw a housewarming party soon and get some new faces into my life. And some old ones back into it too!

  9. shan

    i’ve found that since i’ve moved from calgary i’m having a bit of the same issue. at home i had a few different groups of friends that i could count on depending on what the situation was (whether it be going to the movies, the bar scene, or just walking) and it was really great. but that was because i’d lived there my whole life.

    now that i’m in vancouver, i find it far more difficult to meet new people (especially since i don’t work in an office that’s filled with people around my age as i did in calgary). i have a really great group of friends here and have been crazy fortunate to meet *their* friends, so my social life is definitely improving, but i still find that it’s harder to get myself out from my cozy little bubble sometimes. for me, it’s not the reaching out once i’ve met people, it’s meeting and connecting with those people in the first place.

    i guess the best thing to do would be just to follow your gut – if you get a thought in your head to ask someone to do something that day, just do it, don’t talk yourself out of it. the worst they can say is no. hrm, perhaps i should take my own advice? 😉

  10. joann

    i live in the US so i doubt you’d want to call me.

    but i can offer my dog max next time neil’s out of town?
    max talks back! LOL!!

    unlike my first two dogs who sound
    like they were more like sasha! 🙂

  11. Kristen

    You can always call me Jen for a casual date;) I don’t work downtown anymore so distance is the only problem! My boyfriend often has a date with the couch and I too wish I had someone to play with!

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